By Ross Blanchard
Photographs by Miri Stebivka
The idea of a quiet, serene, reserved art gallery opening is familiar to all of us. But when you introduce fully functional, custom motorcycles into the exhibit—their motor oil dripping onto red shop rags below—and invite their leather-clad admirers, the normal gallery vibe is out the door.
On April 4, the Go Big Or… exhibit opened in the Ford District at galleryHOMELAND inside the Ford Building, bringing an already atypical gallery experience to an even grander scale with enormous paintings, several motorcycles, and photographs from large-format cameras.
Alaska-born Tony Morgan owns Gun Baby Graphics in Portland and organized Burn Out, a custom motorcycle show. His works range from custom motorcycles and decorative metal fabrication to large-scale murals. The Burn Out exhibit features a collection of hand built bikes as well as Morgan’s own paintings. The builders whose bikes were featured include Tony Morgan, David Bright, Josh Terrill, Billy Davis, Kyle Christy, Matt Bolesta, Benji Weisenfeld, Josh Ramp, Larry Kitchens, and Willy Sanders. Morgan also organized last year’s Wrench-O-Ramashow at The Gallery Zero. More of his work can be seen at www.gunbabygraphics.com
Portland photographer Jordan Conway, who shoots with a large format camera, documents alternative culture. The exhibit features his works that are fueled by isolated, human-influenced landscapes and custom motorcycle culture.
Jason Coatney’s paintings are not only very large, but feature subjects’ faces at a shocking scale. Readers might recognize some of the subjects in these works. Coatney collaborated with galleryHOMELAND and Portland artists for this exhibit, some of whom have been featured in this magazine. Working out of Brooklyn, Coatney used photographs of artists taken by Miri Stebivka in the Foster-Powell neighborhood to produce his large-format paintings. The results are breathtaking.